Neighbours talking over the garden gate has long been a tradition. They share gardening tips, complain about the weather and pests yet are ever eager to discuss their gardens. That is what I had in mind when creating this blog. So stop by my garden gate to find out the latest happenings in my garden.

Happy Gardening!

Garden Gnome
"All my life through, the new sights of Nature made me rejoice like a child." ~ Madame Marie Curie"

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Preparing the Beds for Planting

I did not do anything to the raised beds before we left for vacation.  The weather didn't co-operate and despite the local predictions of a dry spring we had a fair amount of rainfall.  I would have liked to have had my beds planted earlier this year but knowing we would be away for 11 days there was little point especially with frost threatening just a couple days before we left.

It's amazing what a difference a week or two can do.  While we were gone the temperatures warmed to the point we came home to heat similar to what we had left.  The garden beds were a huge mess to say the least.  Weeds had taken over practically everywhere including along the paths.  To the right near the garage there were several good sized thistles as well as a larger one in the centre path.  Not picture were two more thistles in the herb garden.  I was tempted to leave one as thistles are herbs but I didn't mainly because the grandbabies like collecting cherry tomatoes.  I might try growing a thistle in a container well out of their reach though.

prepared raised bed
As daunting as the task looked cleaning the weeds out was not near as much work as it appeared.  Weeds in raised beds are seldom much of a problem because the soil hasn't been trampled so they pull rather easily.  It took us about a half hour to clear the weeds from the first bed and paths.  Although the square foot garden method is supposed to be no till because the soil is constantly being turned as a square is harvested then replanted.  I find that I get better results by turning the soil in the spring.  This is also a good time for me to assess the health of the soil.  There should be a good number of earthworms in the soil.  It is also a good time to add any soil amendments such as peat moss and compost.  

By the end of the afternoon the bed was prepped and ready for planting.  The original square foot garden method calls for using a rigid grid but right from the start I have always used left-over cotton yarn.  Yarn stretches a bit and sags when it gets wet but other than that it makes an effective grid.  This year I am using garden twine.  This twine has a bit of a coating on it that will prevent any sagging when it gets wet keeping the grid a bit neater. 

Happy Gardening!

Garden Gnome


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